Brad Fischer (“Shutter Island”) is developing S. Craig Zahler’s Western drama “The Brigands of Rattleborge” after snapping up the rights amid competitive bidding.
The script, originally optioned by Warner Bros., was at the top of the 2006 Black List of the best unproduced screenplays. Story centers on a group of ruthless thieves who use the cover of a torrential rainstorm to plunder a frontier town.
Fischer, co-prexy of production at Phoenix Pictures, made the deal within days after Warner’s option ran out. He will produce “Brigands”; Phoenix topper Mike Medavoy and president Arnold Messer will exec produce.
Vertigo Entertainment is expected to be involved in some producing capacity.
“‘Brigands’ is a riveting, emotionally charged story of vengeance and retribution,” Fischer said.
Fischer started at Phoenix in 1998 and was named to his current slot in 2007. He produced “Zodiac” and is exec producing “Black Swan,” directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. Among his upcoming Phoenix projects are a reboot of “Robocop” and “Koko” by Peter Straub; Ken Nolan (“Black Hawk Down”) will adapt the latter.
Zahler recently sold a TV pilot pitch entitled “Men of the Dusk” to Starz. His first novel, “A Congregation of Jackals,” is due out in September from Dorchester Publishing.
Zahler’s represented by UTA and Caliber Media.